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Remarks at Signing of Memorandum of Understanding With Vietnam

James Glassman, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
June 25, 2008

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[Remarks as Prepared]

Welcome Mr. Prime Minister, Mr. Foreign Minister and distinguished members of your delegation. And welcome Ambassador Michalak, Dr. Berdahl, and leaders from some of our most outstanding universities who have joined us today.

Vietnam and the United States enjoy a strengthening relationship in so many fields important to the future of our people – in the areas of commerce, the environment and healthcare, and, perhaps most significantly for the future of our young people, in higher education.

The Task Force that this Memorandum of Understanding brings into existence will serve to tap the knowledge and experience of our higher education leaders, and yours, to identify the most fruitful ways our two countries can increase academic collaboration and exchange. The support the United States provides for Fulbright scholarships and the Fulbright Economic Teaching Center in Ho Chi Minh City forms a strong foundation on which we will be able to build.

While we recognize that nations and their institutions develop in diverse ways, we believe that the national experience of our independent higher education institutions could be of great value to Vietnam as it seeks to increase access to high quality education for its people. And we know our students and universities can benefit greatly from new opportunities to interact with Vietnamese students and scholars.

President Bush and Prime Minister Dung have made educational cooperation a priority in our bilateral relationship. We look forward to working with your team, Mr. Prime Minister, to ensure the Task Force is effective and serves the shared interest of our governments to develop 21st century strategies to achieve our common goals.

Now if Vice-Minister Luan would like to join me at the Treaty desk to sign the Memorandum of Understanding.


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